Help a Charity and Help Your Job Search

by Rich DeMatteo on June 16, 2011 · 1 comment

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Working for a non-profit can be a great career move because the industry is expanding rapidly and should continue to grow well into the future. Non-profit organizations include charities, research organizations, religious groups, public safety testing committees, and animal cruelty societies, so you will not run out of options should you choose this path. Working with a non-profit provides you with the ability to work in an industry that you are passionate about, whether it is helping those less fortunate or creating a safe haven for animals, while taking an active role in bettering your community.

You’re out of work.  Your job search is exhausting.  You’ve tried live networking.  Nothing is working and you’re not having any luck reaching HR or any influential employees at the company you’d like to work for.

It’s time for a new approach.

Why Charity Work Will Lead to A  Job

Before I even begin to talk about how it could possibly lead to a new job, I’ll just point out that it’s just frickin’ good for you to volunteer!  You’re probably feeling extremely shitty right now.  Rejection after rejection is frustrating, and feeling like a bum doesn’t help either.  Going out to help your favorite charity will give you a heart warming feeling that money and job security used to bring.  You’ll also be able to witness others who are much less fortunate than you are, and maybe put things into perspective.

Most companies love to share details about their charity work.  Simply find out where your favorite company or two are volunteering, and then sign up with that charity.  Research exactly when company employees will be on site and schedule your hours around those times.

The problem with networking events is that EVERYONE wants something.  This person over here wants business contacts.  The blond lady over there is looking for a new marketing gig.  The guy over there is pitching his new business in hopes to land a few clients.  It doesn’t always foster an environment that allows for bonding, friendship, and finally, employment referrals.

In my experience, volunteering for charity work is normally fun, engaging, and is used by many organizations as a team building experience.  I’ve volunteered at homeless shelters, and performed countless hours of yard work at different centers for the less fortunate.  You’re usually right there next to other volunteers, working together on the assigned project.

Key points to your plan.

If you’re successful at planning your volunteer hours around the time company employees are there, you’ll be able to form bonds pretty quickly, and hopefully a friendship.  At some point (way after bonding has occurred), ask about their work and their company.  Act surprised when they tell you what you already knew.  They’ll ask about you, and then that’s your cue.  Bring up your situation and see if they’d be willing to pass in your resume to HR.

The worst thing that could happen is you don’t make a connection and your resume is never passed on.  Hey, but at least you helped out a good cause and did something other than stare at job postings all day.  And remember, if it doesn’t work the first time, there are plenty of other volunteering opportunities for you where you just might make the right connection.

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Corey Witt
Corey Witt

Hi Rich, I can't agree with you more. Even if you have a great job, volunteering is great because you're helping the community and it can actually offer insight to how one can do their full-time job better. But if you're unfortuently out of work, volunteer work on your resume during your unemployment time shows that you are always willing to work and stay busy. Volunteering is a no-brainer and if you're having trouble finding a job, it's a great way to get back out there, stay busy and build a strong resume. Great post! - Corey Urban Interns